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From the Tips Box: Kindle as Raspberry Pi Screen, iPod Control Boxes, and Easy Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

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Once a week we round up some of the great reader tips that come our way and share them with everyone. Today we’re looking at using the Kindle as a screen for the Raspberry Pi, custom iPod control modules, and an easy way to play the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Kindle as Raspberry Pi Monitor

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Ken writes in with the following tip that combines hacking Kindles and Raspberry Pi units:

Hey guys! I found this web site and figured it was right up your alley: this dude combined a jailbroken Kindle with a Raspberry Pi board to create a tiny computer that uses the e-ink display on the Kindle as its screen. Pretty neat stuff… obviously nobody is going to run out and swap their netbooks for this setup but it’s a really neat proof of concept. I’m keeping an eye on it because an old Kindle with a low-power e-ink screen has a lot of potential as a display for all sorts of home projects (like a jukebox or weather station).

If you end up building a micro-computer around the house with an e-ink display, weather station or otherwise, we’d love to hear about it (so make sure to write back in). Thanks Ken!

In-Car Audio with a Dedicated iPod Control Box

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Chris writes in with the following mobile audio tip:

I’ve been researching a way to set up my iPod in my car while enjoying big buttons for control and a nice big readout so I don’t wreck myself trying to read the tiny font on the screen. I found this guy’s tutorial where he built a control box for the iPod Touch that gives it the nice fat buttons and display I’m looking for. I’m a bit new at the whole hardware hacking thing but I figure over a couple weekend I could build this thing.

While some people might consider it a step backward to take the slim form-factor of the Touch and build a big box around it, we totally understand why you would want to do so. This makes operating the device much safer.

Google Searching the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

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Angie writes in with a light hearted tip:

OK, so this is probably going to be the goofiest tip you get this week, BUT, did you guys know that Google now kicks back movie stars’ “Bacon Number”? If you’ve ever obsessed about the whole Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, it’s a fun little Easter egg. Just type in “bacon number (some star’s name)” into Google and it’ll spit back not just the Bacon Number but who is in the chain and what movies they were in.

Maybe if you quietly check your smartphone under the table at the pub you could win yourself a pint or two.

All we can think about, Angie, is how there must be a web site or two devoted to crunching Bacon Numbers and Google just yanked the rug right out from under them. That said, nice find on the Easter egg!


Have a tip or trick to share? Shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and look for your tip on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/13/12

Comments (1)

  1. Benito

    To be fair, he’s not building a box around the iPod. Looking at the pics in the Instructable, the control box plugs into the iPod’s dock connector.

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